Sweet potato and rice burger

Oh dear…the Bloody Bonza Bucketty Beetroot and Bean Burgers did not pass muster from the tough judges running the Inaugural Mangrove Country Fair Veggie Burger Taste Test.

Head Taster Shrek saying “I really, really liked the flavour, quite a meaty consistency if I can use that word, and they held together pretty well.” Cheeky and Mrs Shrek however expressed their concern over the colour “I just don’t understand why any vegetarian would want a burger that looks so red – its like meat. Veggie burgers needs something green in them”.

The killer however was the case of shall we say “bottom burps” that all the tasters were afflicted with afterwards. Personally I don’t get this….the 4B burgers have been made and eaten quite a few times in the VegHead household and we can’t report any subsequent windy-pant problem. However we’ll settle for the judge’s final word in this and so we’re submitting another entrant: Sweet potato and rice burgers.

For the putting in:

  • 1 large potato, peeled and quartered
  • Sweet potato to approximately the same size, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 1/3 cup of dry rice, cooked to just beyond al dente
  • 2/3 cup of oats, ground to flour – not quick cook oats (to make these gluten free follow the same advice as in the 4B recipe)
  • 2/3 cup of cooked chickpeas, roughly mashed
  • 2/3 cup of green peas (either frozen, or if using fresh blanch first)
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of dried mixed Italian herbs
  • 2 tablespoons of tamari
  • Olive oil
  • NB: For those looking to use this recipe for catering size proportions, such as we did for the Mangrove Mountain Country Fair and the Gasfield Free Mountain Districts Declaration, base all ingredient amounts on using 1kg each of sweet potato, potato, (uncooked) rice, oats and frozen peas. You can expect about 60 generously sized burgers from such a mix – which each burger formed into a ball a little smaller than a tennis ball. When making such a large mixture I have found it to be best to mix the peas through the cooked rice, and mash everything else together separately. Refrigerate both mixes overnight in covered containers. Fork the rice/pea mix to separate then combine everything in a large container (or split the mixes into equal portions and do in batches if need be). There is no better way to evenly combine such a large quantity than to just do it with your hands.

To prepare:

Boil the potato and sweet potato until soft, then drain and mash.

Meanwhile, saute the onion over a medium heat in a generous amount of olive oil until transparent. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 30 seconds, then add the spices (not the herbs) and continue for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Mash together the potatoes, sweet potatoes, herbs, onion/garlic/spice mix, oat flour, tamari. Once mixed add the cooked rice and the peas, and thoroughly mix by hand or with a spoon until completely combined.

Cover and refrigerate the mix for at least 2 hours before forming patties.

Cook patties in a cast iron pan until crisp on both sides.

Patties can be frozen uncooked, once formed separated by squares of waxed paper. Uncooked mix should keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Handy Tip: When forming veggie patties use an “egg ring” to get a good tight burger and also ensure even sizing. Form a ball of mix (experience will show how much you’ll need) and press tightly into the ring using palm or a flat spatula. Lift off the ring before cooking. You can either do this directly into the pan, or if preparing for later cooking form the patties in this manner onto the waxed paper. If a wider, thinner burger is desired to suit the size of the bun then squash the pattie as it cooks, just before turning it over to cook the other side.

Shittake Mushroom dip

You have to take a break from hommous every now and then don’t you? Though the Bamix eventually gets a little itchy for some blending.

What’s in the fridge?

What’s in the fridge?

Hmm….some nice shittake mushrooms, and a bag of fruity brown gilled mushrooms too…

Mushroom dip….yumm….

The following is how The VegHead would make it next time, as the first time it ended up a little sloppier than the ideal consistency.

Need to find in your fridge:

  • 4 to 6 large shittake mushrooms, chopped
  • an equal amount of open gilled “standard” mushrooms, chopped
  • an equal amount of pine nuts (by volume), fairly finely crushed
  • 2 thin slices of red onion
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • olive oil
  • teaspoon of dark sesame oil
  • teaspoon of mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tamari
  • tablespoon of tahini
  • ground pepper

きのこののり作成方式 (*)

  • Lightly sauté the shittake mushrooms together with the garlic, onion and pepper in a little olive oil
  • Blend the cooked shittake mushrooms etc together with the raw mushrooms.
  • Add the nuts, and the sesame oil, mirin, tamari and tahini. Continue blending to a smooth paste

Store in a covered container in the fridge, lightly drizzled with a little more olive oil. Try to finish it within 3 days of making.

* Roughly translates as “The method of making mushroom paste”

Roasted pumpkin soup

There was left over pumpkin in the fridge – maybe about a cup of it mashed up. Ten minutes later it was soup for SheWhoMustBeFed. The VegHead had a salad roll instead.

Needing and doing:

  • about one cup of left over roast pumpkin (any skin peeled off)
  • saute a few slices of onion with olive oil and a dash of tamari
  • add 3/4 cup or so of cooked haricot beans to the onion and mix through over a low heat
  • separately bamix the pumpkin, together with about the same amount of water, half a teaspoon of miso paste, and a teaspoon of tomato paste. Add more or less water to achieve the desired consistency
  • add the pumpkin to the pot and bring to a low simmer
  • garnish the soup with a few slices of avocado, and serve with a crusty roll

The Smaller Loinfruit’s Pea and Corn Fritters

The Smaller Loinfruit likes these fritters a lot, and insists on making them himself. No really….insists….woe betide anyone who dares to touch a spoon or even worse flip a fitter in the pan.

Its all good…Loinfruits need to be in the kitchen, to make something that they like eating, and be exposed to the dangers of knives and flames and in doing so become comfortably competent with them.

Your Loinfuit may need help getting the following from the cupboard:

  • 1 cup of self raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of bicarb soda
  • egg replacer made up to 1 egg
  • soy milk
  • 1/2 cup of peas (blanched if freshly podded, or straight from packet if frozen)
  • 1/2 cup of corn niblets (boiled if on the cob, or straight from packet if frozen)
  • virgin coconut oil for frying the fritters

The Loinfruit will insist on doing all of the following steps by themselves:

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Add you-won’t-believe-its-not-egg and stir through
  • Add soy milk slowly, beating in with a spoon. Aim for a fritter mix type consistency. Which is about the same as porridge. Which if you’re not familiar with is a bit like a pikelet mix consistency.
  • Mix throughthe peas and corn
  • Heat a heavy based frying pan, and after some oil spoon some mixture in to create an even fritter that is about 12 cms across. Advanced Loinfruits may have two or more fritters on the go at the same time if the size of the pan permits.
  • Fry until light golden brown underneath, and the uncooked side is noticeably beginning to “cake up” yet is still wet.
  • Flip, and allow other side to cook
  • Get Mum and Dad to do ALL the cleaning and washing up afterwards. After all, they’ve had nothing to do while you’ve been working hard….

PS. If you don’t have Loinfruits then these fritters are also good as quick snacky finger food. The fritter mix can be a good vehicle for anything really. Add some spices, or onion and garlic, or chopped carrots or courgette, or fresh coriander, or some chopped lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf or…or…or….

Golden cauliflower in a glorious sea green bed of ginger spinach

Your powers of multitasking will be required to create this dish of two stir fries. The cauliflower takes a little longer to cook, as the spinach is just being wilted, so start that cooking first. The golden colour comes from a mixture of powdered turmeric, as well as some grated fresh turmeric root.

In the golden cauliflower…

  • half a red onion – roughly chopped
  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower florets
  • 3 cm length of turmeric root – grated using a ginger root grater
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of spanish smoked paprika
  • olive oil for frying
  • Saute all ingredients together in a heavy based pan – should take between 5 and 10 minutes

In the glorious sea green spinach…

  • a generous colander full of washed and well drained spinach leaves
  • a generous handful of green beans – topped and tailed and halved
  • a cup of chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 4cm length of ginger root – grated
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • a splash of tamari
  • olive oil for frying
  • In a large wok, saute everything. Start with the garlic, cumin, mushrooms, and beans, cooking these on their own for about 1 minute. Add everything else and toss to ensure even mixing

Serve, with the spinach arranged in a ring around the plate, and the golden cauliflower in the centre. Squeeze half a lime lightly over the meals before serving.

TGV Pumpkin soup

Travelling to Cannes last week on the train, The VegHead knew that the rail buffet sarnies would be as edible as a monkey’s earlobe. The day before travelllng, this soup was made, then warmed up again just before leaving and poured into a thermos.

Paris never seemed as welcoming…

In…

  • 1/2 cup of chopped pumpkin – boiled til soft
  • 1/2 cup of cooked chick peas
  • 1 teaspoon of Berbere paste
  • olive oil
  • water

Do…

  • lightly saute the chick peas with the paste
  • mash the chick peas with a fork
  • blend the cooked pumpkin with some water, to your desired soupy consistency
  • mix through the mashed chickpeas
  • take the train to Cannes. Take some pita bread with you. Go to the buffet car when you’re hungry and ask for a large waxed paper cup to pour the hot soup into. Watch the fellow passengers eating vending machine sandwiches and feel superior.

Broad bean hommous

SheWhoMustBeFed fffzzzzzz’d up the pressure cooker today, so it was the VegHead’s duty to follow up with some hommous. Unfortunately, SheWhoMustBefed was doing three batches of beans; adzuki, chickpea and butter beans. The adzuki beans got done first, leaving The VegHead with an hour before having anything to do as the chickpeas weren’t ready.

How to pass the time?

Fiddle…fiddle……fiddle…..

Decided to lightly saute the garlic and cumin for the hommous.

Then had time to think and so decide to use half and half chickpeas and broad beans.

Fortunately by then the chick peas were ready!

What went in…

  • half a cup of cooked chick peas
  • half a cup of blanched broad beans
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • olive oil
  • french walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Doing….

  • very lightly saute the garlic and cumin in a little olive oil
  • blend / bamix everything together

What to do with a cup of left over Thai Fried Rice

When The VegHead was a teenager he spent many an afternoon getting up to mischief with a friend who for the purposes of this blog we’ll call “770”. Living still with our parents, it was to their fridges that we turned when the fires of teenage hunger called for a shovel load of fuel, before we rushed out to do something constructive like change a differential.

770’s mum (bless her, lovely woman and still alive and kicking to this day) was…how shall we say this in a manner that accurately captures the respect and affection The VegHead has for this woman….well…..shall we say dotty sometimes. Delving into her fridge was an exercise in exploring the wild and wacky world of the leftovers that inhabited it.

770’s mum was never a fan of Tupperware either (and who could blame her), preferring instead to use old Flora Margarine containers. Finding the actual real tub of margarine generally involved finding three or four scientific experiments first; clicking off the lid from a container only to discover exactly what does grow on the half a dozen egg yolks separated off two weeks earlier when they weren’t need in that pavlova recipe. Indeed, opening the fridge in the first place generally gave access to a heady mixture of smells, reminiscent of the rich humus to be found on the floor of a rain forest. Vaguely comforting, and yet vaguely suggestive of extensive mould growth.

It must also be said that this theme has not been entirely escaped in later life. SheWhoMustBeFed’s mother is rather fond of refridgerated biological experimentation. In her case however she tends to brew up a storm in jars and proper Tupperware containers, which at least has the redeeming feature of keeping the scent of decay more firmly sealed within.

Left overs however are generally a good thing. They allow for good quick meals when you don’t have time to make something from scratch. Left overs are also a sign that you cooked enough to serve everyone generously, but that everyone has the sense to eat only sufficiently and not gluttonously. Just remember to eat the leftovers before they plan a revolution.

Here’s what to do with a cup of leftover Thai Fried Rice. It’ll take less time than it’s taken you to read this post so far.

You will need:

  • One cup of fried rice (obviously)
  • A really big handful of spinach leaves
  • Dark sesame oil
  • Crushed macadamia nuts or cashews

To make:

  • Reheat the rice in a covered saucepan, adding a smidgeon of water if you need
  • Lightly saute the spinach in the sesame oil
  • Serve the rice over the bed of spinach, sprinkling with the nuts

A very nice and quick lunch.

Tomato and Chickpea soup, with pesto

A blogger’s tasks are never done. Having spent a morning catching up on posts the laptop had been put down to suckle on the electricity and lunchtime had arrived. SheWhoMustBeFed has gone to pick up the Larger Loinfruit from her morning of Being Improved in a Dance and Drama Way.

Cold out….so I made this soup ready for SheWhoMustBeFed’s return and then woke up the laptop to quickly write it up before they arrived.

In…

  • 1 thin slice of onion, finely chopped
  • half of a large Jack Hawkin’s style tomato. Chopped.
  • 1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • pinch of black pepper
  • splash of tamari
  • desertspoon of pesto (oh…how handy I happen to have a jar in the fridge)
  • a teaspoon of tomato paste
  • water
  • olive oil

Doing…

  • lightly saute the onion and pepper
  • add the tomatoes and chickpeas and simmer covered
  • once the tomatoes have softened, lightly mash everything
  • add all remaining ingredients, along with some water
  • simmer for a few minutes
  • serve with a slice of toast

Oh…look….here they are arriving home now.

Potato and bean balls

There is very little oil in this dish – in fact non other than however much you use to saute the onion and garlic in, and that used to grease the oven tray. The second time SheWhoMustBeFed made up a batch of these, she happened to neglect that preparatory step – they still turned out fine so if you’re looking for a very low-oil meal try that too.

Me? Olive oil is a beverage my friends….

These were initially birthed as a Loinfruit meal. They would also be ideal as a party finger food snacky thingamee.

Going in the balls…

  • 1 medium to large potato. Peel, boil and dry mash
  • 1/2 cup of cooked black beans (or substitute pinto or haricot)
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped roasted cashews
  • 1 slice of wholemeal bread – finely breadcrumbled
  • pinch of finely ground black pepper
  • pinch of ground cumin
  • 1 thin slice of red onion – finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic – finely chopped

Making the balls…

  • lightly saute the onion, garlic and pepper in a little olive oil
  • combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl
  • lightly mash to combine and slightly break apart the beans
  • lightly knead the mixture until it all binds
  • form into balls, each about a little smaller than a golf ball. For anyone fortunate enough to never have played a game of golf, the balls should be about as round as the circle formed by your thumb and index finger. If you do not have a thumb, then firstly may I say that that is a great excuse to use to avoid golf, and secondly I am at a slight loss as to how to further describe the size of the balls. Just do your best…
  • bake on a lightly oiled tray in a pre-warmed, medium oven for about 15 minutes

Makes approx. 12 balls

Beans that the Larger Loinfruit likes

SheWhoMustBeFed requires this recipe to be recorded in its exactness. The Larger Loinfruit was served these this past Thursday and remarked that “They aren’t as good as pizza but they’re very nice”. Well…what isn’t as good as Pizza when you’re a Loinfruit? Or indeed cold pizza when you’re hung over?

Being as damn near perfection as a dish can be (when not being a pizza) this recipe must be cloned forevermore in The Veghead kitchen…or at least until one day when it is served and declared “Unfit for dinner, and oh by the way Mum I never liked that dish anyway”.

To begin:

  • 1 thin slice of red onion – finely chopped
  • 1 very small clove o garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 cm (or so) thick slice of a Jack Hawkins (or similar) tomato – chopped
  • pinch of mixed italian herbs
  • pinch of finely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of cooked haricot beans
  • a few Spanish style olives (brine preserved not oil preserved) – sliced

To do:

  • saute the onion, garlic and pepper in a little olive oil
  • add tomato, the herbs, and a little water
  • saute until tomatoes begin to break down
  • add haricot beans
  • continue over a low heat for a few more minutes
  • (off the heat) stir through the olives and serve immediately

If it wasn’t already obvious; that only makes enough for one small serve – about as much as you might serve on one slice of toast.

Tofu Katjang Tana Soup

This is from the archives…according to my notes this was invented 21st February 2000. A ‘Frente’ CD was playing during the cooking.

Ingredients & Preparation

  • Tamarind pulp – ½ cup
  • Vegetable Oil (canola, peanut, walnut are suitable. Not Olive oil)
  • Fresh Ginger – approximately the size of the top knuckle of your thumb. Peel and finely chop, or grate if you have a ginger grater
  • Fresh coriander – 6 stalks. Finely chop
  • Salt free peanut butter – 2 tablespoons
  • Coconut cream – 1/3 can
  • Water – 1 ½ cups
  • Firm tofu – 1/3 block. Cut into 1” cubes
  • Shittake mushrooms – 4. Sliced finely
  • Medium size baby bock choy
  • Palm sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • Chilli paste – to taste

Method

  • Combine all liquid ingredients and melt palm sugar over low heat
  • Add mushrooms, coriander, tofu, and chilli
  • Cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Stir occasionally, ensuring that tofu is coated evenly with liquid. Do not allow to boil.
  • Add Bock Choy and cook for an additional 5 minutes

Serving

  • Serve over rice noodles or rice
  • The quantities listed should satisfy two people
  • Wine always improves a meal

Hommous…Hommos…Hummus…its all just chickpea paste to me

The basic ingredients of hommous are something I’ve known for a while. Recently I have however discovered “the trick” that suddenly made for a much more evenly blended and light consistency.

What you need

  • A lemon
  • Light tahini
  • One clove of garlic
  • Water
  • Olive oil
  • Chick peas
  • (Optional) chopped parsley

What to do

Here’s “the trick”….what I used to do was blend up the chickpeas first and then add everything else. The resulting hommous was OK, but it could have been smoother IMHO. So then I thought….” Hhmm…..Tahini Sauce has almost the same ingredients as hommous only without the chickpeas…..I wonder…..”

As an aside; if you’ve never made Tahini Sauce then here’s what happens: When you blend tahini, water and lemon the mixture first gets amazingly gooey and then as you add just a l-i-i-i-i-ttle bit more water it suddenly changes consistency and becomes more a mousse consistency. You have to see this happen to understand the change.

So….blend in this order:

  • half a lemon worth of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • (optional) a few sprigs of chopped parsley
  • water (until it gets the mousse texture). At this point the mixture should be slightly “wet” as the chickpeas will then thicken the mixture.
  • THEN….add and blend the cooked chickpeas until the mixture thickens to the desired consistency – I figure you’ve all bought ready-made-hommous so you know what you’re aiming for. Remember that after refridgeration the mixture will thicken slightly.

Roast Potato and Onion Soup

Cold, grey, dreary English days call for a hearty winter soup to take the chill out of the bones. SheWhoMustBeFed had been out doing errands and came home looking all blue and frigid around the edges, so I made this soup to thaw her out. The roasted vegetables add depth of flavour and texture. This recipe will feed two very hungry people, and it takes about half an hour from clicking on the oven to sitting down to eat.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium spuds – a type that roasts up nicely
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • fresh bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, parsley, dill
  • black peppercorns (to taste: I would add about 3/4 teaspoon)
  • white miso
  • olive oil

What to do (important to do in this order if you do need to make this in less than 31 minutes)

  • crank up the oven (to whatever tempurature suits your oven for roasting vegetables)
  • top and tail the onion, remove the outer flaky skin. Place in a small roasting dish with olive oil and place in the hottest part of the oven
  • reserve one and half potatoes
  • do not peel the remaining potatoes. Dig out any nasty bits. Cube. Place in a roasting dish with olive oil and place in the hottest part of the oven
  • de-skin the garlic, place in a small covered baking container with olive oil and get that in the oven too.
  • Dry roast the peppercorns
  • ** Note: I leave it to you to remove the onion, garlic and spuds from the oven at the right time. In my oven, the onion would take the longest, followed by the spuds. The garlic would be ready in about 15-20 minutes while the peppercorns would be (dry) roasted in 5 or 6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile….peel the reserved spuds. Cut in to smallish pieces and boil together with the bay leaf and the miso paste. Once the spuds are soft, gently mash them. This forms the basis of the “soup”
  • Once the peppercorns are roasted; crush them in a mortar and pestle
  • Once the garlic is roasted, puree it together with some of the soup and add to saucepan. At this time also add the chopped rosemary and thyme, and fish out the bay leaves.
  • Once the spuds and onion are roasted… the outer skin of the rost onion will be chewy and needs to be removed. Stand the onion on one end and slice in half with a very sharp knife (a blunt knife will make a right mess of this as the onion should be very soft). Lay down the halves on their cut side. Using whatever implement is to hand, “pinch” off the outer layer and discard. Cut the roast onion into largish pieces.
  • Add roast potato, onion, pepper, chopped dill and parsley to the soup.
  • Stir
  • Eat – note that the longer you delay the eating now the less the roast spuds will have a nice crispiness to them

Nice with chunky bread…